Grateful Dead Live at Bickershaw Festival on 1972-05-07
This show has been commercially released as " Europe '72: The Complete Recordings - All The Music Edition"
Discs 1 & 2 are a compilation of multiple Audience sources; Discs 3 & 4 are supplied from a Master Soundboard Reel > DAT source; There is a 5th disc which contains the NRPS set; Seeded by Scott Clugston
Subject: Trembled and exploded, left the bus stop in its place
This is a really amazing show and the difference between the Soundboard and Audience is as wide a gap as the ocean between the U.S. and Britain.
The band was tight for the entire Europe 72 tour but they did not shrink from the limelight and the distinction of being the closing act for this Festival and the honor seemed to raise the intensity level even with the tuning issues and less than optimal weather for the bulk of BICKERSHAW.
Freaking Pigpen could jam on that organ!
After 1970 It was not everyday they played both the Dark Star and the Other One during the same show.
While Veneta had its naked hippie gyrating on a telephone pole this show has some wing nuts diving into a swimming pool from ill advised heights.
No matter the band kept playing on..
Subject: whudda show
and the second solo in sugar mag is my all time favorite of jerry's. its perfection. every note. he hurt em bad.
Subject: The stormy one
With such a high overall level, some shows of the tour stand out for statistical this-and-thats. 5/16 is the shortest show and this is the longest @4hrs plus intermission. In fact, it's one of the longest shows ever; 28 songs including a 20min Dark Star and 33min TOO. (1:48 1st set; 2:12 2nd set). Some think length of songs or shows is the only indicator of quality (though you could just compile two shows and call it A+). Those fans will find this show all they need (which is certainly fine). Luckily for the rest, there's plenty of good playing. The festival was legendary for a generation of Brits - understandably so. While it doesn't have the zap of some of the later shows or the crystalline moments of the earlier shows, it has its own vibe.Unfortunately, it's marred by out of tune guitars for many songs. E72 is tough competition.
First Set. The first two aren't bad versions but Mr. Charlie is amazing - because of Keith. Beat it on Down the Line-8½ ("how bout 8 and ½?") is the tour's best. Because it hadn't been fully arranged yet, He's Gone isn't usually this good on the tour. Each China>Rider has some new bits and it's a stand-out most stops, including this one. Black Throated is pretty tame until the end. Playin' is just fireworks all the wah wah through. It does have a small Donnaskreech™. There's a really good, 20min Good Lovin', though these didn't vary that much the middle weeks. Casey Jones was played almost every night yet this stands out - Bobby and Keith's fills are perfect.
Second Set. Greatest Story isn't 4/7, 4/11,or 4/29 but it's still great. The next couple are average '72 but Jack Straw is the height of the '72 arrangement. Parts of Dark Star are interesting (though not like, say, 4/8) and parts are had-to-be-there. E72 doesn't have the year's best Dark Stars and Billy says he looked forward to Other One, which here is the most out-there of the tour (though not the longest). I'll take 4/21, 5/3, 5/24 & a couple others. Going in and out of tune was unfortunate both sets and then Bobby seems to flag by Sugar Mag. But not Pigpen, who fires Jer on a whopping Lovelight. It's fireworks again for GDtRFB, albeit with Donnaskreech™. The next two are average versions.
1st Set: B+
2nd Set: B-
Overall = 4 stars
Mr. Charlie - Keith especially amazing
Beat it on Down the Line - "How 'bout 8½?" how 'bout pure zap
He's Gone - now it's finding its legs
China Cat> Know You Rider - beautiful sections
Playing in the Band - fireworks & wah
Casey Jones - the fills make it (Phil always makes it)
Jack Straw - height of' 72 arrangement
Lovelight>Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad - Pigpen pwns and a peerless progression
SOURCES: Were problematic until official release with mostly bad AUD and then composites floating around.
Subject: Memories are made of this
The promoters had provided large marquees for sleeping and I seem to remember that it worked quite well. The toilets worked too, but you could smell them about 70 metres away. They were a whole experience in themselves: look through the seat and there was an open pit containing an amazing stew of colours 'that no one knows the names of').
I don't know what happened to security; they seemed not to have shown up. People soon started to dismantle parts of the corrugated sheeting that formed the only enclosure to the site and it quickly became a free festival. Attendance was estimated at around 70,000, but apart from advanced sales, I doubt that many people paid to get in.
But despite the weather and despite being a financial disaster the show went on and only a couple of advertised acts didn't show (Pacific Gas and Electric was one). Can't complain though, Hawkwind's space odyssey was worth the discomfort, with a light show that was exceptional for the times. Stackridge finished a quirky set with Purple Spaceship Over Yatton, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Dr John in top hat and with a cane, finished off that night but he was way out of his tree on something and didn't give a good performance.
I think the Kinks were on the next night. Ray Davies was pissed, but functioning well and was clearly enjoying himself. The stage organ was out of tune so he and keyboards player attacked it beer cans and pushed it over, then went on playing with the grand piano while one of the stage crew remonstrated at them. They played a good set. In between sets DJ Andy Dunkley playing good music such as "this oldie but goodie" which turned out to be Subterranean Homesick Blues.
I remember a small, giggly, young Linda Lewis with a huge afro and a huge voice range. Family gave a good set, with Roger Chapman in good form. Quiver seemed pretty average. Cheech and Chong suggested that we all have a minute's silence for J. Edgar Hoover who had just died. It was probably that same night that the stage announced that the Night Assemblies Bill (an infamous private member's bill that was a serious threat to future festivals) had been talked out of parliament. This raised a big cheer amongst Bickershaw's muddy hippies. I didn't stay up for Captain Beefheart, but there was another big cheer when he came on.
Sunday morning was bright with bluish skies, although not too warm. I think Donovan performed sat crosslegged on a mat, but that might be my imagination. Country Joe MacDonald was certainly there, getting us all chanting: "And what have you got?" "Fuck Nixon". He was an excellent raconteur telling about trying to get a U.S. cop to illegally utter the F-word. But the weather soon got grey and wet and I think it was raining again when the Flaming Groovies played. The New Riders came on in the rain but it eventually started to clear and so they tried to charm the clouds away with their country rock before the Dead came on. And it worked. And for the first time during the whole three days there was a clear sky and it was dry for the whole of the Dead's set (around five hours from memory, minus a break of some 40 minutes). There was even a glorious sunset about half an hour after they came on, which was as good as Hawkwind's light show.
Wasn't too warm mind, so they put some sort of giant heater on the stage which made it more comfortable for the band but it also made their guitars go out of tune, requiring frequent tune-ups. (I thought this was supposed to be one of the reasons the Europe '72 album had no tracks from Bickershaw.) Anyway the heater eventually packed up and the band played better in the second set as a result.
Meanwhile the crowd had lit fires and there were huge clouds of marijuana smoke wafting towards the stage causing Bob Weir to remark "I don't know what you're burning down there, but it smells awful". I had never used any illegal substance before, but we split a tab of acid and it started having effects while Bill the Drummer was playing the solo to The Other One. It's quite an interesting number when you are tripping. And then Pigpen took us through Lovelight and then I bopped my way through Going Down the Road Feeling Bad, and into Not Fade Away. This was one of the ten best days of my life and I was buzzing the whole evening and the whole of the next day (the intro to Lovelight going round in my head) as we drove back to Scotland, and I even felt some effects on the Tuesday as I was back at work planting spruce trees in yet more rain up in the Scottish Highlands. Halcyon days.
Postscript: Yeah show ended with Lovelight/Goin down the road/Not fade away. Wow, a never to be forgotten set - from Dark Star on is just out of this world. One More Saturday Night was the encore. The last six tracks on here are the New Riders.
60 minutes of bliss
Some of the stage banter here is classic ("Must be my shorts!") Highlights are numerous and all over the place; it's all beautiful, all razor-sharp exact, but I'm chiefly partial to that China Cat > Rider - just listen to Billy at half-tempo - man, when they decided to keep that groove in that space during the '72 Europe tour they made a great, great move in the name of posterity.
BTW, it says in the description that the NRPS set is "not for the faint of heart". What's that about?!? Would love to hear both that and the Captain Beefheart set one of these days...
Subject: Happy Birthday Dear Billy
Subject: Absolutley one of the best of Europe '72!!!
I was especially blown away by this scorching Other One; as Cliff mentions the ferocity level of the first half MUST be heard, a definite throwback to their late '60s aggressiveness. Then the towering, fast-paced thematic jam at the end just seals it... I think this and 5/3/72 might now be my favorite performances of The Other One on the tour, and with monsters like 4/7 and 5/26 lurking around that is probably saying a lot...I urge you to get the box-set and listen for yourself!!
Subject: Don't touch the tree if the fruit ain't ripe
Subject: For all our muddy friend's
Subject: Kreutzmann's 26th birthday...
A rain sodden and chilly weekend seems to have dampened this festival, though the weather appropriately cleared just before the Dead's show closing performance. Although the sound quality for most of the show renders it rather difficult to enjoy, its obvious why so many songs from this performance were included on the Steppin' Out release.
This festival gig was, for the most part, very well played (particularly the second set) and at an extremely high energy level. It also represents Pigpen's finest performance on the tour, and what might be his last great show. The Truckin' opener cooks, while Playin' in the Band, Good Lovin' and the Lovelight> GDTRFB are all great performances.
The highlight though, is certainly the phenomenal second set jam suite preserved in master reel source sound quality, featuring both Dark Star AND the Other One. It's the only performance during 1972 to include both songs. Though somewhat abreviated from other Dark Stars on the tour, clocking in at just over 16 minutes, this is a top notch effort nonetheless. The pre-verse theme intro is brilliant. Jerry is soaring! But what really stands out on this one is some rather fine playing by Bobby. His chord-work throughout is gorgeous. It might be his finest contribution to a performance of Dark Star on the entire tour. After a post-verse Space/Drums segment, the band just explodes into The Other One. It's a raging monster performance of the song. Not as jazzy or sophisticated as some of the best versions from the tour, this performance is more primal in nature. At times sounding more like '69 or '70 with a fierce pre-verse attack by Garcia and some amazing swirling organ fills from Pig. After the first verse there is an awesome solo by Phil, perhaps his best of the tour. The space segment continues with Jerry and Weir eventually going atonal. Finally Weir drives the band back into the theme and it catches fire again prior to the second verse.
The show concludes with a superb performance of Lovelight, featuring some great slidework by Jerry before another excellent GDTRFB/NFA. If the music of the first set was available in better sound quality, this amazing performance might garner a perfect score. (98 pts)
Subject: Doctor's Orders
Subject: Complete audience recording of 5/7/72?
Subject: Can I download this? and How?
I don't really catalogue China Cat Rider Segues. But I am fascinated by them. The Movie one rates!
Subject: my first Dead show
Subject: lookin for a little help from a fellow head...
go here for some good information about the show
Subject: You can't be serious ..................
Subject: dark star > other one > sing me back
Could someone please re-post the parts that are not officially released?
Subject: Let the Sun Shine In
Subject: Dark Star - Saturday Night!!!!
Subject: pay attention.
clearly stated: DISCS 1 & 2 are from multiple audience sources (-and relatively suck).
*BUT*, DISCS 3 & 4 are from master sbd. reel; and your a fool if you skip out on this show.
disc 3 & 4 are CLASSIC. The best part of this show just happens to be the better quality(see-perfectly mixed 72 sbd.) Dark Star and Other One are unreal and a MUST hear. --GRAB the GOODS.
Rating reflects lack of 1st two discs quality, but show would def. be a five if all four discs were the sbd.
Subject: Poor quality ruins All
Subject: Wiggie Wigan
Subject: most underrated, overlooked show of all time?
The Other One Jam is tangible proof of the mystic-power behind the Grateful Dead. Every day I check nervously to make sure it is still here. Get this quick, and share with friends!
Subject: Yep ! The real deal alright.
Subject: it's not gonna get much better than this.
Subject: Frozen but M E L T E D
Subject: Got shivers from dark star on...
Subject: Wiccan bonfires/ cold rain and mud
The damp was still stultifying as Donovan played his set in the early afternoon.... drizzle still cooled the crowd. Country Joe/the Fish livened things up with a rousing F*** Richard Nixon chant as the sound towers shuddered under the swaying weight of the mad climbers. 20,000 brits screaming F*** Tricky Dick.... unreal, but the best still was yet to come.
New Riders warmed things up more, and as sure as God's in heaven, as they finished their set, the clouds began to part and set the stage (literally) for the Dead.
There were video screens (hi tech in that day) on either side of the stage, and EVERYONE, all the villagers, crowd, cops, bus drivers etc had the show of their lives as the Dead played one of their all time classic shows.... under a blood red sky.
Sodden, stoned, exhausted and remorselessly devoted, or soon to be, Deadheads rocked until there was no energy left to spend. Pigpen was in his final glory days, Keith had blended and even Donna was on key. This show really left no survivors. We were all dead after that.
Luckily, I revived in time for the Lyceum shows.....
Get this one.... excellent quality. Thank you, contributor..... as I sit here, i'm, transported back to that smoky, smelly, stony ol english bog.... that I for one will never forget. Thanks for bringing this back for us.
a nice steady first set with the waft of the toilets drifting over to the band which prompted bobs what you smokin out there
but dark star was lovely spacey and flares being fired into the darkening sky and happy orgasm emblazoned on the electric sign
had to put up with my recording of this until the internet brought me the wonderful sounds as they should sound
happy trails indeed
Subject: My only show